Debate over whether businesses should allow guns when concealed carry law beginsWisconsin's concealed carry law allows businesses to keep out guns if they post a sign. One group is putting pressure on businesses to do just that.
By: Shamane Mills, Wisconsin Public Radio, Superior Telegram
Wisconsin's concealed carry law allows businesses to keep out guns if they post a sign. One group is putting pressure on businesses to do just that. But the author of the law says that would defeat what she says is one purpose of conceal carry: to deter crime.
The Wisconsin Anti-Violence Effort, or WAVE, wants consumers to sign a pledge asking restaurants and retailers to keep people from coming in with guns. The short pledge reads as follows: "I will support businesses that support my family's safety."
It's not being called a boycott says the WAVE's Jeri Bonavia. The group's not using threats of pocketbook power, rather persuasion.
"We're looking at this in a more positive way perhaps that we're encouraging people to go to bus that they already frequent and ask those businesses to prohibit guns on the premises,” she says.
The Republican from Wausau who sponsored the gun legislation, Sen. Pam Galloway, says the purpose is to allow “law abiding citizens to carry concealed weapons for self defense."
“If they encourage businesses not to allow these folks into their businesses they won't be doing anything to end violence,” she says. “Because these folks who've applied for the permit and taken the (firearms training) class are carrying these weapons for self defense."
The WAVE's Bonavia points to a North Carolina study suggesting there's higher risk for employees who work where guns are allowed.
"The danger for those employees is five to seven times greater they will be murdered at their place of work than at businesses that don't allow guns,” she says.
Sen. Galloway says many business owners in her community have indicated that they have customers who want and expect to bring in guns. The concealed carry law takes effect November.